Friday, November 17, 2017

A bit of designing, sewing and shopping.

Today I am well on the way to completing the work on the new bodice I have designed.
It has darts and a wide neck and extended shoulders. I have been really working on the extended shoulders lately. It is such a flattering style. I am happy with the fit. I just need to draft some neckline variations.
This dress is not quite finished. I am still trying to decide on the trims and I wish I had some gold shoes.

Doll clothes patterns by valspierssews
Work in progress

Inspiration from Pinterest
I was browsing through pinterest as I usually do and discovered lots of cute Barbie size dresses that had a wide neck and extended shoulders. I loved how they could be made to look so different using different embellishments, trims and fabric combinations.

I am always collecting new design ideas on Pinterest.

The first draft
I just had to try this for the 18" doll so I whipped up a first draft using my 1804 dress bodice as a sloper. I was surprised that it fit so well the first time. It is not always so easy. Especially with those extended shoulders. You have to get the shape just right. This is my first draft from a while back. It is similar to the bodice in 1827 but the shoulders extend quite a bit more.

Using it with the longer gathered skirt
Now I knew the bodice would fit I wanted to create a lovely dress. I went on a special shopping trip to find some nice Christmas fabric. The fabrics with the sparkly finishes look so festive and elegant. I bought this gorgeous red and gold fabric. It was quite expensive at $25.95 AUD a metre. This is around $20 USD a yard.

I chose the longer skirt from my 1804 pattern because I wanted it to have a formal look to it. I love the skirt and I am thinking I will make a petticoat so it puffs out more. I will include just that one length in the new pattern. There is so much more in 1804

Using it with other skirts
I love making patterns that have lots of potential. This one is no different. The waist of the bodice is based on the 1804 bodice like many of my designs so you can use it with the pencil skirt from 1828 and also the circle skirt from 1827 or the half circle skirt from 1810. I really want to try it out with the pencil skirt.

Plans to make different necklines
I have plans to make the neckline to match the other options in my fashion doll Pinterest board. I like the square neck and I'm sure I can do a scoop neck and a V-neck to go with the extended shoulders.

How to embellish my Christmas dress is something I have been thinking about. I like the idea of narrow ribbon close to the neck edge but I am also keen to sew on some seed beads. I haven't done that before. I would do a random scattering around the neck and shoulders. The waist always looks a bit plain on the dresses but I envisaged a fussy ribbon or flower. As a temporary measure I have put on four strands of narrow ribbon and tied a bow.

When I went looking for fabric I really wanted to visit the shop I had heard so much about in the town about an hour away. Luckily the community bus was planning a trip to the markets there so I booked a seat. I spent a lovely day out at the markets and then the fabric store. This store is an old fashioned type haberdashery. They had just about anything you could use for sewing.

I spent so much time looking at the fabrics that I didn't really get a good look at all their laces and trims. I will definitely be going back. As well as the Christmas fabric I got some cute Minnie Mouse fabric. I will probably use it to make another version of my new bodice.

So that is what I have been up to lately. I plan to do some work on the 1820 Bulky Knit Sweater by adding lots more features and variations to create more of a collection as a long term project but the next design on the drawing board is looking like it will be a coat or jacket of some type. I'm still trying to sew up a wardrobe capsule from my basic designs. I really need some good denim for the jeans to make things look right so I have been putting it off. I saw something that looks good in the Spotlight catalogue so it looks like another fabric shopping trip is on the cards. What a surprise!

Happy Sewing,